Alabama Hookworm

A Guardian article  last September exposed a shameful situation in the southern United States of America. A 19th century disease is rampant where extreme poverty reigns and open sewers contaminate the land:

A group of students at Oregon State University has created a storymap to illustrate the shameful state of affairs in Alabama. This week is finals’ week and I just attended a students’ presentation, under the supervision of Dr. Aaron Wolf (, to Catherine Flowers ( in Alabama, before she heads to the UN in Geneva, where she will expose the shameful situation of hookworm abundance in Alabama.  It gives me hope in the future that these young people cared enough about the situations that, after reading this article, they decided to create an application that can expose the inequalities and health issues in the so-called “Bible Belt”. Christian values do not apply here. It might be worth a visit by the pope to cause a reaction that could stop this state of affair. Solutions exist but local government are not concerned enough to do anything about it. Shameful indeed. I am a climate change scientist and I would like to see some action about reducing emissions in this country, but in this case, solutions are a lot easier than trying to convince a population to live sustainably. Let’s fix the situation before we even begin to think about how climate change will exacerbate this situation.

May 16, 2018 – Intersections of Art and Engineering

Tonight, I participated to the “Intersections of Art and Engineering” event on campus where Engineering students meet faculty who combine one aspect of art with their engineering work, organized by Sarah Kyllo, Academic advisor in the college of Engineering. I tried to describe the frequent necessity for biologists to learn to draw what they saw either through the microscope or in nature for scientific illustrations. I mentioned the fact that climate change science communication through Art has been a valuable addition to the overall enterprise and cited the outstanding watercolors based on real data of Jill Pelto.

Many artists have contributed their artistic productions to show climate change such as the crochet blanket of Ellie Highwood based on temperature data or Deborah Sachs’ “Weatherscape” showing extreme events , the woven hanging “Watching The Glaciers Melt” by Denise Clise , the magnificent paintings of Adriana Seserko, or Fred Martin’s emotional paintings on the global warming theme, to mention a few.